Pregnancy is an exciting time of your life with many changes as your baby grows and your body adapts to accommodate it. At Capital Women's Care Howard County in Fulton, Maryland, physicians and nurse practitioners offer expert prenatal care and labor and delivery services. Whether this is your first or last pregnancy, you can count on the compassionate professionalism of the team at Capital Women's Care Howard County.
What should be expected during pregnancy?
As your baby develops, your hormones change, your body produces more blood, and of course, your uterus and abdomen swell to accommodate your growing baby. This is what you can expect during each trimester of pregnancy:
During your first trimester of pregnancy, your baby grows from a cluster of cells to a three-inch-long fetus with all the major organs. You may experience symptoms like breast growth and tenderness, morning sickness, fatigue, heartburn, and constipation.
The second trimester is known as the golden age of pregnancy because many of the disruptive symptoms of the first trimester pass and your bump isn’t large enough to cause discomfort yet. Most women feel their baby move for the first time during the second trimester.
During your third and final trimester of pregnancy, your baby grows quickly. You’ll feel your baby move more often and may have shortness of breath because the position of your baby can compress your diaphragm. As you approach your delivery date, your baby moves into a head-down position and may shift lower in your body.
What does high-risk pregnancy mean?
A high-risk pregnancy occurs when there is an increased risk of health issues for you or your baby. It’s not necessarily a reason to worry; you’ll just have more frequent prenatal visits and some specific fetal monitoring so your doctor can keep an eye on both your health and the health and development of your baby. Some of the indicators of a high-risk pregnancy include:
Mother over the age of 35
Twins or other multiples
Health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure
Slow fetal development
Smoking, alcohol consumption, and other lifestyle behaviors
What are the signs that labor has started?
There are several signs that your labor has begun. You may lose the cervical mucus plug, which looks like a pinkish-brown blob of jelly. Your water will break.
You’ll start to experience contractions. Contractions typically begin as minor cramping or tightening sensations in your abdomen or lower back that occur infrequently but increase in intensity and timing as you get closer to delivery. When your contractions are about five minutes apart, painful, and have been like that for at least an hour, it’s time to call Capital Women’s Care.